My grandmother painted all the door knobs in her house blue. My mother used a product called “petal porcelain” on everything we touched, sealing them in eternal gloss. They were in their 40’s. I have to wonder, what will I do?
I was sitting on my swing, staring off into the garden, when it hit me, not like an “aha moment” but a horribly sad realization followed by the fall out that is fear, “I am not happy anymore” I whisper quietly to myself. It strikes me, I don’t feel joy when I should, like when I’m spending time with my kids or hanging out around the fire with friends…nothing. Oh I laugh and joke, act and talk like all the other women my age, but I don’t really feel a part of anything, like I’m floating above it all and seriously unfazed by all of it. After the fear comes desperation, the need to understand why I feel as I do, why I feel different than any other mother on Earth that has been blessed and suffered little? What is wrong with me?
Within eight hours of my heart-wrenching epiphany, I stumble upon what could be the answer to my question and the reassurance for my soul; I’m looking through magazines on my iPad and see one titled My Menopause magazine. I think, “oh God, I can’t even imagine that right now”. I’m only 45 anyways. And then I remember how much I’ve been struggling with the physical anomaly that my internal temperature has been about 10 degrees higher than everyone else’s in my household and can’t even tolerate the beautiful Maine summers anymore as going outside is unbearable. I sigh, figure “what the heck” and decide to check the magazine out. That’s when I found the article that may have saved my mental and emotional spirit; written by Carey Goldberg titled “How I Conquered Menopause”, here is an excerpt: “…I was vaguely aware of sinking into anhedonia, the inability to feel pleasure. It seemed physiological to me: In the presence of something good, whether a child’s achievement or a piece of chocolate cake, I’d note its goodness but feel none of the lifting heart and lightening head, none of the “yum”, that I’d always experienced as pleasure before…I let lapse friendships that had lasted decades. I felt as if I were play-acting in many relationships, aware that these ties were worth keeping but unable to feel the underlying affection that had sparked them.”
The author went on to explain that absolutely these feelings could be menopause (or probably more appropriately for a woman in her 30’s and 40’s, perimenopause) and the remainder of the article focused on how she found relief for these disturbing effects, exercise.
Since that fateful day I have come to terms with several things: 1)Yes, I may very well be menopausal, even at such a youthful age! 2) I can overcome fear of this inevitable phase of my life by doing some research, asking my physician questions, seeking out available treatments, especially as this natural phenomenon progresses. And finally, 3) I am in control of where this new development takes me in my life now. There are so many options for easing the symptoms of menopause out there now and I will be exploring these in full.